F.A.Q. / Can’t you just use my VIN number?

A common misconception is that you can just call up a locksmith and give them your V.I.N. (vehicle identification number) and they can make a key for your vehicle. “Well, my friend works for a repo company and they can do it,” we sometimes hear. This may or may not be the case. For vehicles that are newer (and these are the ones that are generally being repossessed), then the VIN can be a helpful tool. The number a locksmith needs to make a key for your vehicle is called a “code” number. Car dealerships require proof of registration and ownership before they will give out this information. A dealership uses your VIN number to see what the code number is for that vehicle IF the vehicle is ten (10) years old or less. If the vehicle is older than that, then dealerships clear their database and for the newer vehicles. So while a VIN number may work for a dealer, it doesn’t do much good for a locksmith. The other side to this is that a VIN number doesn’t do any good if the locks on the vehicle have been changed. Dealers only keep the originaly code numbers, so if the locks on your vehicle have been rekeyed, then that number won’t work for your car. If you purchase a vehicle second hand there is a 50/50 chance that this could be the case.

Newer vehicles also use transponder technology, which means not just the code is needed for the key but the transponder code is needed as well.

© 2012, Shauna. All rights reserved.

Posted in: Key Duplication